Mummers in Milton Keynes
Spring in Cornwall, (1916-1935). Photo courtesy Tate Images © Tate. All Rights Reserved
Milton Keynes is cementing itself as an arts and culture hub of late (did you check out International Festival: Milton Keyes last month?) and now the brilliant MK Gallery has just announced a new exhibition of Dame Laura Knight’s work this October after a successful crowdfunding campaign. The exhibit will feature over 160 works from the trailblazing female artist who’s career lasted almost a century, including her depictions of racial segregation in America and powerful portraits from the Second World War.
Gypsies at Ascot, undated. On loan from and photo courtesy Hereford City Museum, © Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2021. All Rights Reserved Chloe, (1926). Private Collection. Photo courtesy Christie’s Images Limited, © Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2021. All Rights Reserved
Elsewhere, in central MK, a new temporary public art exhibition will be installed this month to celebrate the town’s design history and green ambitions with 50 trees and two wildflower lawns planted on Station Square alongside pop-up food markets and a public events space. The project is part of a wider development of the area which will also include the brand new 4* Hotel La Tour, set to open in 2022.
The 261 bedroom hotel will feature a 14,000sqft events space, 10 meeting rooms as well as the Skyline bar and restaurant on level 14 with 360-degree panoramic views over Campbell Park and the Buckinghamshire countryside.
Break a leg!
Hairspray The Musical
Missed the theatre (and the little tubs of ice cream in the interval, obvs)? Then you’ll be thrilled to hear that Bucks & Oxon’s big-hitter theatres have an amazing line-up this summer including Six The Musical at Oxford Playhouse, where Tudor queens channel pop princesses to retell history through catchy bops and rap (24 Aug – 5 Sep); Pricilla Queen of the Desert at New Theatre featuring all the classic hits – I Will Survive, It’s Raining Men, Hot Stuff – and a giant helping of camp (23 – 28 Aug), followed by Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers shining a light on class divisions and the Nature vs Nurture debate as two twins separated at birth are reunited (31 Aug – 4 Sep). This Bill Kenwright production, has played on the Wet End over 10,000 times, one of only three musicals to every achieve this milestone – wowzer. And finally, dancing shoes and beehives at the ready for Hairspray The Musical at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre exploring racial discrimination and segregation against the backdrop of 60s song, dance and style (6 Sept – 11 Sept)
Head to Muddy Bucks & Oxon’s Instagram to WIN four tickets to the Opening Night of Hairspray The Musical at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.
Mutts of Marlow rejoice! Dog friendly restaurant chain Megan’s is set to open its second outpost outside of London (the other is in St Albans, Herts) in the newly refurbished Liston Court. The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant will serve all-day from brunch to evening cocktails with options like baked eggs shakshouka, ‘posh’ kebabs, sharing dishes and mezze plates. Meanwhile, on Spittal Street, The Oarsman gastopub will be reopening mid Sept under new ownership with revamped interiors and an open kitchen. At the helm is Nigel Sutcliffe (CV: Hetston’s The Fat Duck Group, managing director of The Crazy Bear Group) and James Mclean who has experience working in Michelin restaurants and has previously won Young Chef of the Year – so yeah, we’re expecting big things!
It’s always sunny in Bucks & Oxon!
Looking for a low-cost, lovely day out? Then head to family-run Hill Lodge Farm, in Culham, to check out its 15 acre sunflower farm and wildflower meadows open until 22 Aug. There are two sunflower paths to walk down (both buggy friendly) to take snaps as well as pick your own flowers which you can purchase for £1 each or £5 for a bag. There’ll also be snacks on site from Oxford’s Barefoot café and locally brewed coffee. Proceeds will go to Helen and Douglas House children’s hospice.